Cloud Computing - the Death Knell for the IT Department?
Posted by Doug Walters on 15th November 2013
It is my belief that IT staff are wrong to fear wholesale job cuts or restricted career progression opportunities as a result of a move to Cloud technology.

As organizations move email and other infrastructure (such as backups, file servers, third party applications, etc) to the cloud, the need for day-to-day device monitoring by staff deceases. Before the cloud, the technical support team spent much of their time monitoring and/or recovering all devices, systems, etc to make sure they were available for business operations.

However, in my opinion, Cloud computing will not eliminate the need for the IT team but it will shift the roles that the IT staff play within an organization.

What’s different?
With the shift of many devices to the cloud, IT staff can spend more time in the role of architect, business analyst and project manager. Departments implementing Cloud technology are able to transition and transform solutions at a rapid rate; this requires an intensifying demand for IT planning (Architecture), business analysis to improve solutions, and resource coordination (project management.)

Cloud computing can offer services that, just a few years ago, were unattainable for organizations. Understanding these types of services and resources and how they can be used, integrated together and integrated with traditional in-house hosted systems, requires architectural skills to construct a better IT strategy for the organization.

As organizations expand use of the cloud to include applications, IT staff need to play the role of the business analyst. Wherever it is hosted, an organisation still needs the core skills to understand business processes and the data that those processes manage. The role of Business Analyst delivers real value by streamlining overall use of systems, integrating the systems into the organization and helping assess the inter-relationship between the applications and other infrastructure in their organization.

Migrating an existing system to a cloud-based solution requires project management skills in order to have a successful implementation. Without solid project management, the move to the cloud might either cause service disruption (connectivity, general access issues, etc.) or could end up being significantly over budget.

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